LG and Samsung team up on HCA smart home tech to complement Matter

LG HCA smart home announcement CES 2023

Smart home device compatibility is one of the main themes of CES 2023, evidenced by the Home Connectivity Alliance (HCA) showing off HCA Specification 1.0 to enable more devices from different brands to connect seamlessly together.

LG and Samsung were among the major tech brands on hand to help establish the industry standard for Cloud-to-Cloud (C2C) interoperability between home appliances with a longer shelf life, like air conditioners and TVs.

What is HCA?

Established in 2021, the Home Connectivity Alliance comprises 15 global brands, including LG, Samsung, Electrolux and more. The member-based organisation aims to enable customers with more smart home options, allowing for connectivity between different brands’ devices.

One of the key messages from the CES 2023 showcase of HCA Specification 1.0 was energy efficiency. With the interoperable standard, the collective hopes what it refers to as HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), home appliances, and TVs work with one another without needing major firmware updates where possible.

How will it work?

With the launch of HCA Specification 1.0, the HCA is working with energy management leaders to engineer an energy-efficient and sustainable future for smart homes. In practice, this could mean easier access to energy consumption data from connected devices. From here, it could lead to automating technology to increase energy efficiency and save on power costs.

It comes at an interesting time, considering Matter, another interoperable smart home standard LG and Samsung also collaborated on, launched late last year. According to reporting from TechHive, HCA is meant to work alongside Matter, not compete against one another. This is because Matter is more based on connections between devices, whereas HCA is based on connecting cloud services.

From an LG perspective, the brand discussed the concept of “any app to any device”, meaning that you could control different devices using another brand’s app. For example, you could potentially use an LG fridge and another brand’s air conditioner using LG’s ThinQ app.

Samsung, who recently revealed its SmartThings Station hub, hopes that the HCA technology will empower you to make better-informed decisions about your appliances. Linking back to the point about energy efficiency, it might soon be easier to identify which devices in your house consume the most power, and then make decisions based on that information.

Further details on HCA Specification 1.0 are relatively limited, such as when it will be widely available at a consumer level and which specific devices are compatible. Still, it sounds like a solid concept that operates on a macro level, while Matter operates your smart home devices on a micro level.

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